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jordimbrinkman

Helix + Powercab: how to get great basic sounds

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Hi all,

 

Since a month I own the Helix Floor + Powercab 112 plus (and the Relay G10S). A great compact setup! I'm impressed by its versatility, all options and ease of use. Before I had a traditional setup: Custom Audio tube pre-amp, mesa 20/20 power amp, TC G-system, Mesa cabinet. Top class sound, but I was tyred of carrying it around... So I made the big switch to modeling.

 

As said I am very impressed, however I am struggling to get my basic sounds right (for which I'm reaching out for help): clean, crunch, rock and high-gain. I know my traditional tube setup is quite a benchmark, but still hoping to get my sounds close to what I'm used to. I kind of miss that punchy/crispy sound, especially when I play with my (rock) band my sound has no clear definition (missing the 'balls'). 

 

I really want my setup to work and don't want to give up as I am convinced about the benefits of the Helix. So I was thinking:

- to keep tweaking till it's right (it must be me)

- try a tube combo amp instead of the powercab

- lower my expectations 

- get help through this forum :-)

 

I go for the last option as I know there are so many happy and experienced Helix users out there.

 

So, here is my question:  did any of you go through the same process with satisfying results in the end? Any tips how to get that great basic authentic sound right (which I appreciate is a vague question)? See my current setup/ settings below. 

 

Thanks a lot for sharing any experience/advice! Much appreciated! 

 

Main guitar: Fender Strat with single pick ups 

Powercab: Vintage ( sounds most pleasing to me for the few amps I use from clean to high gain)

Clean: Solo Lead Clean (amp only, no cab from Helix)

Crunch: clean channel above + Screamer

Overdrive: Mandarín 80 (amp only, no cab from Helix)

Lead: Placater Dirty (amp only, no cab from Helix)

On top of above amps (on which I made minor tweaks to most pleasing sound), I experimented by adding EQs, compressors and effects.

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Hello,

 

What a big dive in the modeling world !!!

I've done the switch more slowly during the last two years.

I've got a variax (that i use less), a fender, the Helix and a powercab 112+.

Before the PC+, i had a Yamaha DBR10 as active speaker but wasn't entirely satisfied with that mic'd feeling....

The Powercab is closer to the "amp in the room" i was searching....

In fact, it can take time to move towards to what you are looking for.

I only use the speakers modeling in the PC+ 'cause i think this is really the main add of this device and prefer this sound.
At first, i thought i just had to suppress all the cabs modeling in the helix and it'll be ok. That wasn't the case....The sound wasn't the same, i had to tweak some of my preset.

But at the end, it's easier to obtain a good sound (presets are less complex).

 

To respond to some points (not in the same order) :

 

- get help through this forum :-  : Of course yes, the community is there for that !!!! You'll find precious advices, like i did (elsewhere too (TGP))

 

- try a tube combo amp instead of the powercab : really not the thing to do IMHO, you'll lost the flexibility of the modeling with the tube's render (and you gonna go back increasing the weight ;) )

 

- lower my expectations : i think this is not exactly the way you have to express that (it would state Helix/powercab is a low end rig). 

I felt something like that but i would say, i miss something else, i'm unsatisfied yet....

Actually, i have a fender cybertwin and when i've compared the two rigs, i felt that the sound was much better on the fender (at home). It fills more the room !

I've improved my results with the Powercab (see next point below) but i always feel that the fender is better (to my ears). Now, i explain that because the cab design is not the same. The fender is an open back with two speakers, the PC+ is a 1*12 closed back cabinet, it changes everything on the render in a room.....

Last time i went to a retailer. There were customers trying an Orange tube amp into an Orange closed cabinet (modeling i like on the Helix too (you should try the greenback speaker modeling, it works geat)). They played loud, of course, i thought it works great, but i've never thought ; wow, i have to sell everything and buy that tube rig, there's nothing better. It was the opposite : i see that the closed back has a real impact on my feeling....And even prefered my Orange Helix preset.....

 

- to keep tweaking till it's right (it must be me) : The things that have improved my sound : the PC+ is very directive, the sound is projected straight. So, tilt it back on its legs to have the "real" sound you gonna work on. Increase all the db parameters on the PC+ (imput 1/2 if you use these ones), and in the model speakers parameters too. Change the mic/position/highcut(10000/12000Hz not lower)/lowcut settings (60-110Hz), it wouldn't have an incidence on the sound because it would act only on the XLR output but it has a real impact and changes everything !!!!

 

 

good luck and good work ! :)

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I just got my power cab yesterday (not the plus).  I built all my patches while playing through the PA that I use live.  The patches translate OK to the power cab but it's not really the same, surprisingly my acoustic sim patch sounds great through the power cab but I need to work on it to get the rest going.  I found turning on the 80hz cut on the back got me closer but I'm running in the flat mode and using the cabs and IRs in Helix so if you're using the speaker models in the power cab that might not work.  Even on my, cab sims and IRs in Helix I always use the low and Hi cut, where I set them depends on the amp model and the tone I'm going for.  Usually the low cut is between 100 and 140 and the hi cut is between 7k and 10k.  I find it gives a more focused tone.  After that I think it's down the finding which amp models give the you that crisp sound.  I really like the plexi jump if I want to be able to hear every string while using an overdriven tone.   At the end of the day you can get tips here but you're going to have to put in the time.  Once you start to get a recipe for your sound you'll be able to craft sounds really quickly.

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11 hours ago, SteveFrance said:

Hello,

 

What a big dive in the modeling world !!!

I've done the switch more slowly during the last two years.

I've got a variax (that i use less), a fender, the Helix and a powercab 112+.

Before the PC+, i had a Yamaha DBR10 as active speaker but wasn't entirely satisfied with that mic'd feeling....

The Powercab is closer to the "amp in the room" i was searching....

In fact, it can take time to move towards to what you are looking for.

I only use the speakers modeling in the PC+ 'cause i think this is really the main add of this device and prefer this sound.
At first, i thought i just had to suppress all the cabs modeling in the helix and it'll be ok. That wasn't the case....The sound wasn't the same, i had to tweak some of my preset.

But at the end, it's easier to obtain a good sound (presets are less complex).

 

To respond to some points (not in the same order) :

 

- get help through this forum :-  : Of course yes, the community is there for that !!!! You'll find precious advices, like i did (elsewhere too (TGP))

 

- try a tube combo amp instead of the powercab : really not the thing to do IMHO, you'll lost the flexibility of the modeling with the tube's render (and you gonna go back increasing the weight ;) )

 

- lower my expectations : i think this is not exactly the way you have to express that (it would state Helix/powercab is a low end rig). 

I felt something like that but i would say, i miss something else, i'm unsatisfied yet....

Actually, i have a fender cybertwin and when i've compared the two rigs, i felt that the sound was much better on the fender (at home). It fills more the room !

I've improved my results with the Powercab (see next point below) but i always feel that the fender is better (to my ears). Now, i explain that because the cab design is not the same. The fender is an open back with two speakers, the PC+ is a 1*12 closed back cabinet, it changes everything on the render in a room.....

Last time i went to a retailer. There were customers trying an Orange tube amp into an Orange closed cabinet (modeling i like on the Helix too (you should try the greenback speaker modeling, it works geat)). They played loud, of course, i thought it works great, but i've never thought ; wow, i have to sell everything and buy that tube rig, there's nothing better. It was the opposite : i see that the closed back has a real impact on my feeling....And even prefered my Orange Helix preset.....

 

- to keep tweaking till it's right (it must be me) : The things that have improved my sound : the PC+ is very directive, the sound is projected straight. So, tilt it back on its legs to have the "real" sound you gonna work on. Increase all the db parameters on the PC+ (imput 1/2 if you use these ones), and in the model speakers parameters too. Change the mic/position/highcut(10000/12000Hz not lower)/lowcut settings (60-110Hz), it wouldn't have an incidence on the sound because it would act only on the XLR output but it has a real impact and changes everything !!!!

 

 

good luck and good work ! :)

Thanks for sharing your extensive insights and suggestions! Much appreciated. I keep working on it. It’s definately a fun journey :-)

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10 hours ago, litesnsirens said:

I just got my power cab yesterday (not the plus).  I built all my patches while playing through the PA that I use live.  The patches translate OK to the power cab but it's not really the same, surprisingly my acoustic sim patch sounds great through the power cab but I need to work on it to get the rest going.  I found turning on the 80hz cut on the back got me closer but I'm running in the flat mode and using the cabs and IRs in Helix so if you're using the speaker models in the power cab that might not work.  Even on my, cab sims and IRs in Helix I always use the low and Hi cut, where I set them depends on the amp model and the tone I'm going for.  Usually the low cut is between 100 and 140 and the hi cut is between 7k and 10k.  I find it gives a more focused tone.  After that I think it's down the finding which amp models give the you that crisp sound.  I really like the plexi jump if I want to be able to hear every string while using an overdriven tone.   At the end of the day you can get tips here but you're going to have to put in the time.  Once you start to get a recipe for your sound you'll be able to craft sounds really quickly.

Great. Thanks a lot for  sharing your thoughts. Much appreciated! 

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